One of my composition professors once told me “don’t be overly pre-occupied with originality”. For years I’ve been trying to understand that advice, but this scene in Vinyl puts it together.

The Nasty Bit’s lead singer Kip gets frustrated while trying to write a song, complaining “there are no more notes”:

Two thoughts on that scene. First, the folks making Vinyl really love and get music, and I hope the show succeeds.

Second, in high school, I thought the exact same thing: I-IV-V was overly simplistic. Despite the fact it occurs in masterpieces over and over, like the first 30 seconds of Beethoven’s Sixth:

So, there you go. Don’t worry too much about originality. Form and progressions are just the foundation for your composer voice. If I-IV-V worked for Berry and Beethoven, you can probably use it as a foundation too.

Posted 2 years ago by John Piscitello

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